Wigan Warriors enforcer Tony Clubb could miss up to 12 weeks of action as he undergoes surgery for a neck injury.
The former London Broncos star is set to have treatment next week on the injury he picked up earlier this month and is likely to miss the remainder of the regular Super League season.
It is one of three blows for Shaun Wane, who is also set to be without captain Sean O’Loughlin after he suffered an adductor injury while Anthony Gelling is still a few weeks off with a chest problem.
“I feel like we’re taking two steps forward and two back, we’re paddling,” Wane told Wigan Today.
“We’re getting some players back but then others are going down. I’ve lost my biggest enforcer, in Clubby, and Lockers is a big loss – he’s like an extra half.
“It’s sad we’re without two key middles for a few weeks but that’s the way it is.”
In more positive news, Liam Farrell and Joel Tomkins could return for Thursday’s trip to Castleford.
“If Faz is fit, we’ll play him on Thursday,” said Wane.
“Joel has a chance, too. He was going to play against Leeds but his knee swelled up again.”